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Chiesa di Santa Maria della Vittoria

Santa Maria della Vittoria (Our Lady of Victory) is known for the masterpiece of Gian Lorenzo Bernini in the Cornaro Chapel, the Ecstasy of Saint Teresa.

The church was begun in 1605 as a chapel dedicated to Saint Paul for the Discalced Carmelites. After the Catholic victory at the battle of White Mountain in 1620, which reversed the Reformation in Bohemia, the church was rededicated to the Virgin Mary. Turkish standards captured at the 1683 siege of Vienna hang in the church, as part of this theme of victory.
The order itself funded the building work until the discovery of the Borghese Hermaphroditus in the excavations. Scipione Borghese, nephew of Pope Paul V, appropriated this sculpture but in return funded the rest of work on the façade and granted the order his architect Giovanni Battista Soria. These grants only came into effect in 1624, and work was completed two years later.




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